Form is Function
If eco-guilt can’t cure Americans of wantonly tossing plastic water bottles—we use more than 30 billion a year—then maybe we’ll be saved by style. And smarts. Enter the Square bottle, with its stainless steel walls, ergonomic handle, and top and bottom lids. Created by a team of former Apple and Frog Design employees led by triathlete and industrial designer David Mayer, the Square solves nearly every problem posed by traditional reusable bottles, while still slipping into a standard cupholder. Bringing it to market was a three-year process for Mayer, who turned to electronics manufacturers when bottle makers couldn’t handle the Square’s 16 separate parts. Most of these are in the lids, which are threadless and lock securely in place. On a recent hike up a steep Los Angeles canyon trail, a test bottle survived a drop and stopped itself from rolling down the hill. Later, after being left in the car on a hot day, it was simple to uncap both ends and give the bottle a thorough, bacteria-killing scrub down.